Friday, 1 July 2011

UXM #28: "The Wail Of The Banshee!"

("Of course, they're always open for crime!")


At last!  A character who isn't entirely disposable!  Say hello to the first appearance of everyone's favourite boisterous boyo, Banshee!

(God, I'm even starting to sound like Stan Lee.  This experiment is clearly detrimental to my health).

This, then, is Thomas' first real contribution to X-history.  We also hear the name "Factor Three" for the first time, which starts this story arc in earnest.  It's all so exciting that there's barely time to notice the Ominous Locked Door in the cellar, which is presumably why nobody bothered to mention it before now.

Ted seems to have quietly dropped his psychology major and taken up English literature.  No wonder his parents prefer his brother...

Doesn't the "I was all mind-controlled and shit!" ending of this issue rather jibe with the Banshee's gleeful crime-wave earlier in the issue?  It certainly wasn't the Ogre who made him steal that painting and a pouch of tobacco. It looks like the X-Men have been had.  If Xavier had spent a little more time scanning Banshee's mind, and a little less time trying to create a superior form of earwax, he might've picked up on what was really taking place.


This story takes place over two days, judging from the change in sky tone across the issue.

This time there's no ambiguity; we're definitely in Autumn.  That puts the Angel's convalescence at three months and counting, but then that actually works quite well, narratively: it drives home how much damage Scott did back in issue #26.  It's annoying that we have to swallow up so much time in one go, though.  We'll set this issue on the first day of Autumn, so as to minimise the damage.  Even so, we've burned through more time in Thomas' first eight issues than we did throughout Lee's run.  This does not bode well.

But there's another, even larger problem: the narration explicitly refers to each "teenager" playing their part, in a panel in which Beast is doing just that.  This seems the clearest indication yet that Beast was originally intended to not have reached his twenties.  Whilst fully aware of the problems this will cause down the road, I shall bow to this pressure, and assume that Beast turns twenty the day after this issue; meaning he was born on the 24th of September, 1959. In order to maximise the difference between them, we shall further assume that Iceman only turned sixteen the day before the first issue, making his birth date the 30th of March, 1962.


Wednesday 22nd to Thursday 23rd of September, 1979.



Compression Constant

1 Marvel year = 2.25 standard years.

(Iceman is 37 years old)

"Factor Three? That sounds like
some kind of toothpaste!"

Contemporary Events

The South Atlantic Flash is observed.  The cause is hypothesised to have been a nuclear test, but the truth is still as yet unknown.

Standout Line

"I always say, it's no fun being slugged by strangers!"  That's probably the best line the 616 Mimic has ever been given, so I'll judge it the issue's best line out of sheer pity.  God knows, the rest of it's dreary enough...

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